Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard has allocated £8,000 to Mid and East Antrim Council to take forward plans to develop local greenway paths.
The funding, allocated through his department’s small grants scheme, will be used to develop a feasibility study for the Greenisland greenway project.
The proposed route is part of a strategic plan for 1000km of greenway development across the north, launched by the Minister earlier today.
The paths, for use by walkers, runners and cyclists young and old, will be traffic free and many will utilise disused railways, riverside paths, abandoned canal towpaths or flood embankments, reinventing them for use for generations to come.
They have also been designed to make it easier for people to leave the car behind by connecting towns and cities to villages and countryside from east to west and north to south.
Minister Hazzard said: “I am delighted to award £8,000 in funding to Mid and East Antrim Borough Council to develop a feasibility study for their proposal for greenways in this district.
“Developing the Greenisland Greenway will boost not only the opportunities for active travel, but leisure and recreation opportunities and even cycling tourism - all of which should result in a more buoyant local econmy.
“Of course, this is only part of the jigsaw and my strategic plan for greenways sets out a plan for pathways across the north and cross border, focusing on the development of a 400km primary and 600km secondary greenways network that walkers, runners and cyclists can share.”
“The greenway paths will connect towns and cities to the villages and countryside from east to west and north to south, and will also be integrated with other modes of transport, making it easier for people to leave the car behind. “Many of the proposed schemes are located on disused railways, riverside paths, abandoned canal towpaths or flood embankments and this will breathe new life in to this redundant infrastructure improving the quality of life for local communities and enhancing the experience for visitors.”